Travel Diaries: Chasing Waterfalls in Guyana

I decided to play tourist in my own home country recently when a friend came to visit. Showing the country to a visitor was a great way for me to see and appreciate some parts of it for myself all over again and even to experience new spots.

For those of you that do not know, Guyana was once ruled by the British and was actually called British Guiana up until they attained their independence. It is the only country on the South American continent whose official language is English and is home to six different ethnicities that have all contributed to the Guyanese society. We are a nation that can thank the Chinese, East Indians, Amerindians, Africans, Europeans, and Portuguese for their contributions to our food, religion, and overall culture. 

The pictures I am about to share definitely do not do any justice to the scenery in Guyana. You should definitely try to a pay a visit yourself. We went to Kaieteur and Orinduik falls taking off from Ogle airport and flying over the city.

You end up flying for quite some time in a small plane that will definitely shake you up in the rain – definitely not for those with faint hearts. The city scenery will eventually change into estates and then to the rainforest up until your pilot takes you over the falls.

Then he will circle, to ensure all of his passengers get a good view of the falls. You will land in an airstrip at the guesthouse and hike to multiple vantage points. I visited Kaieteur about 5 years ago but this time the tour guide we had took us on a completely new and more taxing hike. It was definitely worth it! Kaieteur is the tallest single drop water fall in the world so it is Guyana’s very own wonder of the world. It is also the only home to a tiny, bright yellow frog that is poisonous.

If you do decide to go to Kaieteur, be prepared. It could possibly rain and thankfully I wore my Columbia fishing shirt which dried pretty quickly once I hung it up on the plane later in the day. Wear comfortable shoes, take water, snacks, and your antihistamines just in case.

After lunch at the Kaieteur guesthouse, we hopped right back into the Cessna and were about our way to our next stop – Orinduik. Orinduik is actually on the Brazilian and Guyanese border and the scenery changes from rainforest to savannahs. It is breathtaking and you will land on an airstrip that is a gravel track. There is a house at Orinduik that you can leave your backpack in and then hike down to the falls (wear your sneakers, the rocks are super pointy) where depending on the flow of water you can either stay on the side of the falls or go out a little further.

After spending some time here, you will return to town and get some pretty great vantage points of Georgetown.

During that weekend, I also trekked to the top of the Georgetown lighthouse for the umpteenth time – talk about a work out! The lighthouse sits close to the mouth of the Demerara River and Atlantic Ocean and is another great way to see Georgetown.

And of course, coconuts are a really great way to quench your thirst in the hot tropics.

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